Inter-Palestinian Civil Wars and Conflicts
Hundreds of thousands of (mostly) Muslim Palestinian refugees who live in permanent refugee settlements in Lebanon, while large Palestinian populations inhabit the so-called West Bank (of the Jordan River), and the crowded Gaza Strip along the Mediterranean. The Palestinians in Lebanon are there due to their defeat in the First Arab-Israeli War (1948-1949), which caused many of them (or their ancestors), to leave Israel/Palestine. Thousands more Palestinians fled Jordan following the Jordanian Civil War of 1970 between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Jordanian government.
While the United Nations classifies the Palestinians in the Lebanese camps as ‘refugees,’ the vast majority of the people living in these camps were not born in Palestine or Israel.
In the 1960s, the Palestinian refugees (which at that point included many in Egypt, Gaza, Jordan, and elsewhere, in addition to those in Lebanon), formed the PLO as an umbrella group of various resistance groups fighting Israel. While these groups often cooperated in their wars with Israel, they also frequently clashed among themselves. Below is a listing of several of these inter-Palestinian wars and conflicts.
Palestinian refugees clash in Lebanon (April, 1999)–At the Baddawi Palestinian refugee camp in Tripoli, Lebanon, fighters for the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine and a splinter group battled each other.
Palestininian Civil War in Gaza (2007)-In June of 2007, a short civil war between the two main Palestinian factions, Hamas and Fatah, resulted in the expulsion of Fatah forces from Gaza. Hamas is considered the more militant of the two groups, and Hamas does not recognize Israel’s right to exist and seeks to reclaim all Palestinian lands from Israel.
Fatah vs. Palestinian Islamic Jihad (Jan. 2010)–Inter-Palestinian fighting in Lebanese camps
Fatah vs. Usbat al-Ansar (Feb. 2010)–Fighting in the Ain al-Helweh refugee camp in southern Lebanon. Four killed.
Links and Resources for Operation Khanajar/Strike of the Sword:
Deadly fighting in Lebanon camp –al Jazeera.net, Feb. 15, 2010
4 killed in Palestinian camp clashes in south Lebanon–Ya Libnan, Feb. 15, 2010